The novel coronavirus also known as the Wuhan coronavirus is a contagious virus that causes respiratory infection. It has caused the current outbreak which the WHO declared as a state of emergency. On the internet, there are many rumours about the virus, so it is important to know the facts about the Coronavirus and how to protect yourself against it.
Let’s take a look at 7 essential facts about Coronavirus :
1 The Novel Coronavirus is spreading faster that the SARS did, but it is NOT more deadly than SARS
The Novel Coronavirus that is spreading in China, is infectious and dangerous. However, it is not as deadly as the SARS virus, which spread in China in 2002 and killed 10% of those infected. The Novel Coronavirus kills about 2-3% of those infected. However, keep in mind that the outbreak just started so the fatality rate may not be accurate.
In terms of spread, the Novel coronavirus is spreading quicker than SARS. Much quicker. Over a period of 8 months, SARS infected 8000 people. We are now looking at over 7000 cases a month with the Novel Coronavirus.
2 The incubation period for Novel Coronavirus is pretty short.
The incubation period for the Novel Coronavirus is estimated to be between 2-10 days. In some cases, it may go up to 2 weeks. The incubation period is really important because it determines how long the quarantine period may be and it also offers insights into how the virus invades the immune system. You can read more about the importance of the incubation period on the TheScientist.
3 There is no proof that wearing a facemask will protect against Novel Coronavirus transmission
Wearing a regular facemask is will not protect against the virus. It is still debatable whether surgical mass will actually provide any protection. Whether or not a surgical facemask provides protection against the virus, largely depends on its quality and ability to filter particles. A surgical N95 mask may provide protection, however you would need to check its quality before purchasing it. Most mass-produced masks do not really comply with manufacturing standards so they do not have the filtration capacity needed to provide virus protection.
4 There is no vaccine or treatment for the Novel Coronavirus
Despite the many rumours about a vaccine, there is no vaccine against Novel Coronavirus as of yet. The Oslo based coalition Center For Evaluations Of Public Health Interventions(CEPHI) is currently working on developing a vaccine and treatment for this virus.
5 The first infection came from an animal source
The origin of this virus came from a fish market in the county of Wuhan in China where the first case is believed to have been detected. The explosive spread of the disease is due to person to person transmission.
The image shows the timeline of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus by the CBC.
6 The Novel Coronavirus' most severe effect is on the lungs
People who contract the Novel Coronavirus develop many complications, however, it is usually the pneumonia that ensues that is fatal.
7 Handwashing helps prevent Novel Coronavirus spread
If there is a time when public health professionals would recommend that you obsessively wash your hands, that would be now. Frequent handwashing may be the single most effective protective measure that you can take to protect yourself.
Correct handwashing technique - image by WHO
Did you know that there are some steps you can take right now to protect yourself from the Coronavirus? Read more here : 7 Steps To protect yourself Against Coronavirus (Infographic)